Coaching Women: Pitch Like A Girl


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Men ask for what they want twice as often as women do and initiate negotiation four times more, report economist Linda Babcock and writer Sara Laschever in their book: Women Don’t Ask

I am too young to be part of the women’s movement in the 1970s when it was considered demeaning to refer to a woman over the age of 18 as a girl.  I think Ronna Lichtenberg author of “Pitch Like a Girl”  made a funny play on words although in plain English it still means performing poorly compared to a real boy!

For Lichtenberg, Pitching like a girl is: “doing it your way, by incorporating the desire for connection into transaction” As mentioned in my previous post  to get what you want you have to identify what you really need and then communicate your demand in a clear and direct way.

What I liked about the book “Pitch Like a Girl”:

1. Simple concept: the styles in which people prefer to do business can be divided into pink or blue: “pink” people approach is based on relationship and “blue” people use facts.  In other words, you are either a “people person” using more your right brain, playing with emotions, feelings, perceptions and intuitions or you use mainly your left brain and use  analytical thinking, logic or knowledge. You can of course be” stripped” if you use both. So far nothing new as most behavioral tests such as the extended DISC method (see https://zestnzen.wordpress.com/assessment/)  is based on the four main styles defined by Carl Jung by using 2 axes:  the first one used by Lichtenberg:  “People or Task Orientation” and the second  “Reserved or Active” (also mentioned as Introvert-Extrovert).

2. The three things that can hold a woman back from becoming successful are (1) failure to understand biological differences between male and female brains; (2) stereotypes about women; and (3) negative self-beliefs. Although the chapter on “What’s in Your Head That’s Not in His” can be a bit frustrating if you are not familiar with the American way of doing business.

3. I liked Lichtenberg’s concept of “Me. Inc”. She says that “Me, Inc” is only about your offerings in the marketplace. Marketplace judgments about value, about price, are not about your own personal worth. Your personal worth is far beyond the value of money.”

4. Lichtenberg also has a broad definition of the concept of “prospects.” Prospects can simply be members of your network and people with whom you share interests.

5. Lichtenberg wrote:  “In pitching situations, we just need to apply the kind of benefit thinking about relationship[s] that comes naturally to us in a smarter, more purposeful way.”

Conclusion: I’m not usually an adept of broad generalizations such as the concept of pink and blue people. However I did find this approach can be a very useful tool to make women talk more about their needs and ask  to get what they want. I also liked the pitching approach Lichtenberg offers in many situations–starting a business, seeking a promotion, proposing a new idea or adding people to your network –The book is worth a look for some strong advises and exercises

In the related book: “Women Don’t Ask”- The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation and Positive Strategies for Change by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever,  you will find also great tips including a “female approach” to negotiating.

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